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Downtown Boston condo prices, sales drop annually in first quarter 2019

Median sales price now $810,000, new report says

A row of rowhouses along a city street. Shutterstock

The number of downtown Boston condo sales dropped 6 percent, to 487, in the first quarter of 2019 compared with the same period last year and prices for the most part were down too, according to a new report from appraiser Miller Samuel and brokerage Douglas Elliman.

The report tracked closed condo deals in Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Charleston, Fenway, Midtown, the North End, the Seaport District, South Boston, the South End, and the West End.

The report’s conclusions came in two versions. One included all closed condo deals. The other did not include deals from three buildings—50 Liberty, Pierce Boston, and 10 Farnsworth—with either really high pricing or a large number of legacy closings, which the report defined as deals for contracts signed two to four years ago.

Such closings led to reports of price and sales surges in early 2018.

“While the published report does include the condo legacy closings from a year ago, we also looked at a comparison that removed three buildings that showed either a high volume of these contracts, or record pricing,” Miller Samuel CEO Jonathan Miller, the report’s author, said in the summary. “This resulted in a more representative trend in comparison to the first quarter of 2019 that did not see the same surge in legacy closings.”

With the three buildings removed, sales were down that 6 percent. The median sales price for downtown condos was down 1 percent annually, to $810,000. And the average sales price was down 3.1 percent, to $1,126,556. The average price per square foot was up, however, by 3 percent, to $984.

If the three highly expensive, legacy closing-heavy buildings are added in, sales declined 22.8 percent, while all three sales price measures were down by double-digit percentages.